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Mtwara Travel Guide  | Mtwara Safari tours

Mtwara Travel Guide | Mtwara Safari tours

Mtwara is a city and the administrative centre of Mtwara Region in the African country, Tanzania. It is located in the southeastern part of the country, between 10°16′25″ S latitude and 40°10′58″ E longitude, around 570 km south of Dar es Salaam, the largest city of Tanzania.

 Mtwara is home to the soccer club Bandari F.C and the city also houses numerous bars and clubs that get crowded during the evening by both locals and visitors. Among tourists, Mtwara is famous as a great diving spot that can be enjoyed at Mikindani Bay and also many travel agencies in the city offer excellent eco tours for visitors.

How to get Mtwara?

Mtwara is well connected to the commercial centre of the country Dar es Salaam by scheduled flight services, catered by Air Tanzania, Precision Air and Tropical Air. The distance of 7 km from the airport to Mtwara can easily be crossed by minibuses and taxis.

Buses are regular between Mtwara and Dar es Salaam that will be around 8 hours journey. Taxis, Tuktuks and motorbike taxis are the prevalent options to get around Mtwara. Bicycle can also be used that is available for rent at the market for 2000-3000/day.

Tanzania Safari by Circuits

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Mtwara is the capital city of Mtwara Region in southeastern Tanzania. In the 1940s, it was planned and constructed as the export facility for the disastrous Tanganyika groundnut scheme, but was somewhat neglected when the scheme was abandoned in 1951. 

Best Safari tours from Mtwara

Often overlooked by many safari operators in favour of the northern parks, the southern parks of Nyerere National Park (formerly the Selous Game Reserve) and Ruaha National Park are worth serious consideration and are the preferred destination for most who are really keen on their safari. 

The benefits of heading to the south is that, where the very north of the Serengeti gives the numbers of game, along with some seclusion, the southern parks are still very much “frontier” parks and so are noticeably less busy (they also feature the same spread of species as the north, but more like a thousand, rather than 2 million). 

The second important point is that, where the average lodge cost in the north is around $700 per person per night, the lodges in the south, where they offer a similar experience, are around $2-300 less.

Selous walking Safari
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The south and west of Tanzania are often overshadowed by the more famous and iconic Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater in the north.  Some agents feel that the south and west are better suited to the seasoned safari-goer and don’t recommend them for a first timer  –  however we would disagree! We have sent thousands of first timers to southern Tanzania where they have had an excellent safari experience.

Food and Shopping in Mtwara:

Mtwara Market near the bus stand is a great point to bag some local clothes and traditional medicines at affordable prices. Some modern shops in Mtwara include:

  • #1. Ray shop
  • #2. Makonde Mini Mart
  • #3. Carving Stand


List of the major restaurants in Mtwara include:

  • #1. Korosho Lodge
  • #2. Msemo
  • #3. Dubai Restraunt

Mtwara Town and Map

Mtwara Travel Guide

Here are some tourist attractions in Mtwara, Tanzania along with some information about each: 

1. Msimbati Beach: Msimbati Beach is a secluded and beautiful beach located just south of Mtwara. It is known for its clear blue waters, soft sand, and peaceful atmosphere. Tourists can swim, sunbathe, and take a stroll along the beach.

2. Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park: Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park is a protected area along the coast of Mtwara that is home to a diverse range of marine life. Visitors can snorkel, dive, and explore the underwater world at the park.

3. Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park: Also known as the Mtwara Marine Park, it is a beautiful conservation spot where the Ruvuma river meets the Indian ocean. It offers unique activities like scuba diving, snorkeling and sailing. The park is also important as a breeding ground for turtles.

4. Nangurukuru: Nangurukuru is a historical site located near Mtwara. It has ancient rock art paintings that were believed to have been made by the local community who lived in the area from 2000 BC to 200 AD.

5. Mikindani Bay: Mikindani Bay is a charming 19th-century town that was originally built as a trading port during the colonial era. It is known for its narrow streets, historic buildings, and bustling markets. Visitors can explore the town and learn about its rich history.

I hope this information is helpful! Let me know if you have any further questions.

The best time to visit Mtwara in Tanzania is during the dry season, which typically runs from June to October. During this time, the weather is warm and sunny, and there is less chance of rainfall. 

The wet season in Mtwara runs from November to May, with March to May being the wettest months. Although it can still be a good time to visit, be aware that roads can be muddy and some activities may be affected by the weather. 

It is also important to note that Mtwara experiences high humidity throughout the year, so be prepared for this if you choose to travel during any season.

To get to Mtwara, Tanzania, you can take a flight from Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar to Mtwara Airport. There are a few airlines that operate flights to Mtwara Airport, such as Precision Air and Coastal Aviation. 

Alternatively, you can also reach Mtwara by road. There are buses and private cars that go from Dar es Salaam to Mtwara, but the journey can take up to 12 hours depending on the traffic and road conditions. It’s important to check the latest travel restrictions, visa requirements, and COVID-19 protocols before planning and booking your trip to Mtwara.

Here are some typical foods from Mtwara, Tanzania: 1. Wali wa nazi: This is a popular dish in Mtwara made of rice cooked in coconut milk. It is usually served with different types of curries.

2. Maharage ya nazi: This is a rich and savory dish made of beans cooked in coconut milk with spices and herbs.

3. Ugali: This is a staple food in Tanzania made of maize flour mixed with boiling water to create a thick porridge-like consistency. It is usually eaten with different types of meat or vegetables.

4. Kuku wa pilau: This is a spicy and flavorful chicken dish seasoned with pilau spices and cooked in a coconut-based sauce.

5. Samaki wa kupaka: This is a delicious fish dish cooked in a coconut-based sauce with spices and herbs.

6. Mkate wa kumimina: This is a type of bread made with cassava flour and coconut milk. It is usually served with tea or as a snack.

7. Nyama choma: This is a popular grilled meat dish made of beef or goat. It is usually served with ugali and different types of sauces.

8. Ndizi nyama: This is a hearty dish made of plantains cooked with meat in a spicy tomato and onion sauce.

Compared to some other popular tourist destinations in Tanzania, Mtwara is not considered an expensive destination. 

However, prices for accommodations, transportation, and meals may vary depending on the season and location. In general, Mtwara is a great destination for tourists looking for an affordable and authentic Tanzanian experience. 

It’s important to do your research and compare prices before making any reservations.

The best areas to find accommodation in Mtwara, Tanzania are: 

1. City Centre: This area is located centrally and provides easy access to various attractions and facilities such as restaurants, shops, and transportation.

2. Mikindani: This is a historic area located close to the coast and offers a variety of accommodation options such as guesthouses and B&Bs.

3. Masasi Road: This is a popular area for travellers and visitors with a wide range of accommodation options such as hotels, apartments, and lodges.

4. Mtwara Beach: This area is located near the beach and offers a tranquil environment for visitors to relax and enjoy nature. Accommodation options here include beach resorts, hotels, and guesthouses.

Mtwara is generally a safe place for tourists. However, like any other city or town, it is important to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety. 

It is advisable to avoid walking alone at night, especially in isolated or poorly lit areas. Additionally, it is recommended to be aware of your surroundings and to keep your belongings safe at all times. 

Overall, by taking simple precautions, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable visit to Mtwara.

Certainly! Here are some nice places you can visit in a day trip from Mtwara: 

1. Mikindani: A historical town located about 20km from Mtwara. It has well-preserved Swahili architecture, a colorful market, and historic sites such as the Old Boma and the Slave Market.

2. Msimbati Beach: A beautiful and secluded beach that is located about 80 km from Mtwara. You can enjoy a relaxing day at the beach, go snorkeling or hire a boat to explore the nearby islands.

3. Masoko Pwani: A fishing village located about 50 km from Mtwara. You can witness the daily life of fishermen, explore the village or relax at the nearby beaches.

4. Msimbati River: A tranquil river that flows into the Indian Ocean. You can take a boat ride, explore the mangroves and watch the local fishermen in action.

5. Ruvuma River: A scenic river that marks the border between Tanzania and Mozambique. You can enjoy views of the river and the surrounding countryside, or hire a boat to explore the river and the nearby islands.

Masasi Airport